McLaren Lapeer Region nurses agree to 3-year contract with new benefits

McLaren Lapeer Region hospital
McLaren Lapeer Region hospital
Published: Oct. 23, 2020 at 2:31 PM EDT
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LAPEER, Mich. (WJRT) - Registered nurses at McLaren Lapeer Region hospital agreed to a new three-year contract this week that provides new benefits to improve working conditions, according to the health care giant.

McLaren Lapeer Region President and CEO Chris Candela said the new contract improves safety for patients by reducing burnout among nurses and creating a better work-life balance. Schedule changes include weekend-only shifts for operating room nurses, enhanced fatigue time and a better process for approving paid time off.

“The safety of our patients and staff is always our top priority and this new contract will make McLaren Lapeer Region an even safer facility for our team members and the community we serve,” Candela said. “It was also important that we provide our nurses with the security of a three-year contract in today’s uncertain times and this long-term contract accomplishes that goal.”

The nurses are represented by the Michigan Nurses Association union. “Nurses at McLaren Lapeer are proud of the contract we won and the work we did to achieve it," says Tom Hall, RN, president of the nurses union. "To get McLaren executives to agree to vital protections for our patients like improved staffing ratios, we had to hold an informational picket and vote unanimously to authorize a strike. RNs at Lapeer and around the state are not afraid to fight for what is right. We believe that this contract will provide important benefits not only for nurses at the hospital, but for our patients and our community as a whole.”

Candela hopes the contract will help attract more nurses to the hospital by offering unspecified annual wage increases and limits on increasing health insurance premiums.

“As one of the largest employers in Lapeer County, we strive to offer competitive wages to our nursing staff so that they can have a sustainable career in the community that they live in,” said Candela. “This contract has competitive wages to help us gain new nurses, as well as reward staff that have been with us for years."

Contract negotiations are continuing at McLaren Flint hospital, where nurses threatened to strike on Nov. 4 if a deal isn’t reached. Members of AFSCME Local 875 approved the strike vote last week by 98%.

Nurses say they want to prioritize patient safety over profits in those negotiations.

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